Crusader takes his chances with Giants

Former Holy Cross quarterback Dominic Randolph didn't hear his name called in the last rounds of the 2010 NFL draft, but then even if it had been called on Day 3, the standout signal-caller wouldn't have heard it.

He was outside playing horseshoes and enjoying the nice Worcester, Mass., weather on Saturday.

"It would've been nice to hear my name called and get that recognition of being drafted," Randolph said Monday. "But then again, I found a better situation for myself being a free agent and getting to pick between a few places."

Randolph said the decision came down to the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Giants, and that he went with the Giants because they had hosted him for a visit prior to the draft and he felt comfortable there.

"It was great to see New York's organization and meet the coaches and some people from the front office," Randolph said. "It was a great visit and I think it paid off.

"From Tom Coughlin down to the other coaches, they all seemed genuine when I met them," Randolph said. "They were interested in us, excited we were visiting with them. I met with the quarterbacks coach and the offensive coordinator and felt comfortable with their system and what they wanted to teach me about playing in their offense."

Randolph, who finished his Crusaders career as the leader in touchdown passes, passing yards, yards of total offense, completions and pass attempts, signed a three-year deal for the rookie minimum.

And while signing a pro contract is a big step toward fulfilling his dream of playing in the NFL, Randolph knows he faces an uphill battle just to make the Giants' roster. He'll go into minicamp and training camp with the team as the fourth quarterback.

"I believe I have a good shot, but obviously I have to perform at the best of my abilities," Randolph said. "[Giants backup quarterbacks] Rhett Bomar and Jim Sorgi are great players.

"And I know it'd be great to learn behind a great quarterback like Eli Manning, as well."

While Holy Cross head coach Tom Gilmore wouldn't speculate about Randolph's chances of making the Giants' roster, he did say he's sure Randolph will acquit himself well in the weeks ahead.

"Dom is a very talented, very smart football player," Gilmore said. "He's very competitive and has a tremendous work ethic.

"He's certainly going to compete and stake a claim to a roster spot."

Gilmore also said he doesn't think Randolph is done improving his play.

"As good as he was at Holy Cross, his potential to improve is tremendous," Gilmore said. "Some guys are near to maxed out when they make it to the NFL, but Dom is nowhere near that point."

The Crusaders coach, who won the New England and Patriot League Coach of the Year awards in 2009 for leading his team to its first conference title since 1991, said Randolph improved every year he was at Holy Cross after not being a consistent starter in high school. For Gilmore, Randolph's relative inexperience at quarterback is a plus going forward.

How so? Because Randolph finished his career as the Football Championship Subdivision leader in a variety of statistical categories for passers -- attempts (1,786), completions (1,131), yards (13,455) and touchdowns (117) -- despite playing very little at quarterback in high school.

"Those numbers are staggering," Gilmore said with a laugh, "they really are. And he has the potential to get even better."

Steve Muench of Scouts Inc. said the transition from Holy Cross' spread offense to the Giants' pro style offense may take Randolph a while.

"While he appears to make accurate pre-snap reads and he can control safeties with his eyes, he doesn't get through his progressions quick enough and can throw into coverage when his first option isn't there," Muench said. "In addition, he has average at best arm strength. On the other hand, he is mobile enough to buy time in the pocket and he flashes above-average touch on short-to-intermediate passes.

"He also has excellent intangibles by all accounts."

Ultimately, Muench doesn't think Randolph has star potential, but he does think the QB could have a future in the NFL.

"I don't see him developing into the face of a franchise but he could develop into an effective backup or spot starter," Muench said.

For now, one thing's certain: There's more football in Dominic Randolph's future.

In fact, even as he discussed his future on Monday, Randolph was waiting for some former teammates to arrive so he could get out and throw. "I've got practice on Friday," Randolph said, "so I've gotta get in a few last workouts before then."

There's no time to rest for an NFL hopeful.

"I'm gonna get a shot and I just have to make the best of it," he said.

Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com. He can be reached at Jack.C.McCluskey@espn.com.